FUNKY FOREST/THE WARPED FOREST
When filmmakers say things like “What’s supposed to be funny about this?” in the commentary, you’re in trouble.
The work of three directors, Funky Forest presents 21 “free associative episodes”. Many are tediously talky – like three women at a health spa sharing aimless stories. Sit through two and a half hours of non-sequiturs and there’s some startling weirdness, like a body-horror school band with instruments that’d disturb the Chapman Brothers, but choppy editing and a resistance to anything resembling a punchline leave you feeling trolled.
Shunichiro Miki’s solo outing The Warped Forest is less aggressively incomprehensible but still baffling, set in a dimension where people use nuts pulled from their navels as currency, giants interact with regular-sized people, and a girl hunts a furry pink blob with a gun that ejects a flaccid, semen-dripping penis. The film was worked out on the hoof, and it shows. Still, there’s some memorably Cronenbergian, perversely erotic business about fruit with genital orifices, picked from tree-women with branches sprouting from their nipples.
Extras The juvenile giggling on the Funky Forest commentary gets irritating fast; Miki’s for Warped Forest at least helps to explain what’s going on. Both have Making Ofs (69 minutes/12 minutes). Funky Forest also gets a 23-minute effects piece, 21 minutes of Director’s Cut scenes (don’t bother) and dance choreography footage. The Warped Forest comes with a director interview, in which he discusses his love of Videodrome and the Zucker brothers (23 minutes), Plus: storyboards; a trailer.
The tree-woman sequences were tough for the actor, as the fruit dangling over their groin made it impossible to go for a pee.